Provide greeting cards for hospitalized service members

Dear Readers: Happy Thanksgiving! The holiday season is now in full swing. One lovely gesture you and your family can do? Provide greeting cards for HOSPITALIZED SERVICE MEMBERS to send back home to their loved ones.

Here’s what to send in, according to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center:

* Three blank holiday cards (all the same holiday, and NO glitter).

* Three matching blank stamped envelopes.

* A short greeting to the service member, with NO personal information.

Secure and mail to:

American Red Cross in the National Capital Region

ATTN: Holiday Mail for Heroes

8550 Arlington Blvd

Fairfax, VA 22031

The deadline for sending in these holiday bundles of cards (Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) is quickly approaching: Nov. 30, 2016.

Contact the American Red Cross at 301-295-1538 for more information. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I enjoy reading your column in the Creston (Iowa) News Advertiser.

I discovered two cooking-/food-oil stains on the front of a quite new 100 percent cotton garment after it had been washed and dried. I’ve tried two different commercial stain removers since then, but the stains remain. Is there any hope of removing them? — Barb in Iowa

Barb, let’s try Heloise’s “Last-Ditch Effort” stain remover for whites and bleachable fabrics (no silk or rayon, etc.). Here’s the formula:

1 gallon hot water

1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent

1/4 cup household liquid chlorine bleach

Mix well in a plastic, enamel-coated or stainless-steel container. Don’t use an aluminum vessel.

Let the piece soak for up to 10 minutes. If staining remains, soak longer, then launder as usual.

This and many other stain solutions can be found in my Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Clothing pamphlet. If you’d like to order one, visit my website,, or send a long, self-addressed, stamped (68 cents) envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/ Stains, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Make sure you read and understand the care labels on clothing before you buy. It may not be a good investment if you must always have the garment specially cleaned. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: Kids love stickers of any kind, so I save the ones that come free in the mail. When my grandkids come over, they love to play with them. — Judy K. in Texas

Dear Heloise: I travel a lot for business and am frequently in several airports per week. I try not to check luggage, but sometimes I must, depending on how much I take. I have taken a photo of my bag with my cellphone, and it’s come in handy. One time all I had to do was show the picture to the agent at lost and found, and he filled in the paperwork. — A Reader, via email